Author Topic: Bhagavan Ramana and the tradition of Advaita  (Read 1757 times)


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Bhagavan Ramana and the tradition of Advaita
« on: March 27, 2009, 12:33:41 PM »
The tradition of Advaita Vedanta is most often associated with
Sankara, especially his commentaries on the Badarayana Sutra,
Srimad Bhagavad Gita, and the principal Upanishads.  Bhagavan
Ramana translated into Tamil, Sri Sankara's Sri Dakshinamoorthy
Stotram, Vivekachoodamani and Atma Bodha and in His talks with
devotees elaborated the subtle points  of the tradition using Sankara's
view point as reference.  It is said that their teachings are similar but
it should be understood that Bhagavan Ramana's authenticity is not
dependent on orthodox interpretations of religious texts -- His authority rests on His own inimitable experience.

Though the writings of Sankara are considered to be the doctrinal
pillars upon which the advaitic tradition rests, we keep in mind that
Advaita Vedanta did not originate with Sankara.

We can trace bak to the Vedas many of the teachings of Advaita.
The first emphasis on the immanent and transcendental nature of
Brahman is recorded in the teachings of Yajnavalyaka (Br. Up. III.7).  One can see in the Upanishads the development and debate of the
finer points in metaphysics -- the question of moksha; the nature of
Brahman; and the concealing power of avidya.  In the Chandogya
Upanishad we can find an example of the purest advaita as taught
by the great rishi Uddalaka (Ch.Up.6.2.1). sad eva, saumya, idam
asid ekam evditiyam. (In the beginning, my dear, this was Being
alone, only one without a second.).  There is passion and conviction in the texts, which indicates the commitement and adhrence to the truth in the lives of these rishis.  These are no idle debates but fiery deliberations, which contain a hidden power which we can excite the reader even today.

What was it that drove these seekerss to fathom the depths of the mind and consciousness?  Whatever it is, we today resonate to the very same tension.  What is Real?  What is false?  Though baffled by these questions, we can readily identify with this modern rishi, Bhagavan Ramana, because intuititively we know He has resolved these burning questions.  His connection  to this ancient lineage is not proved by some spurious heritage but by the recognition His feat is perennial.  It is open to all who dare refuse all anodynes and pursue their conviciton whole heartedly.

Bhagavan Ramana was a rare anamoly, a marvel like some mythic bird that sprang into life full grown without having to grow or learn. From His awakening, He was complete.  His awakening was the single, sufficient, pre-requisite that sanctioned Him to teach us, His followers.

We do understand that something significant occurred one day in
Madurai sometime in July-August 1896.   What exactly it was cannot be related because the experience was beyond words.  We cannot say how or why this event occurred?  To say that it was the result of past samskaras is an explanation but nothing more.  What we are disucssing is an 'event' which was not an 'effect' of something else.  Self realization is not a result.  We say it does not have a 'cause' because the 'concept' of Self Realization transcends all notions of causality.  The best we can articulate is that it is happened.  [ In fact, Nothing happened! ]  This experience of Bhagavan Ramana is as close as we can come in defining what "advaita" means.  For advaita in its true sense is not a philosophy, it is an experience.

Bhagavan Ramana taught as much by example as instruction.  His life was a teaching.

One of the last things that He wrote was a short poem. In the Zen Buddhist tradition, a Zen Master prior to his leaving his body, generally composed a pithy verse, which summed up his attitude at the decisive moments of departure.  We see the same spirit in Bhagavan Ramana's verse.

As one throws off the leaf after eating the food,
The Seer sheds His body.

(Source: Mountain Path, Jayanti, 2006.  Editorial.)

Arunachala Siva.                   


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Re: Bhagavan Ramana and the tradition of Advaita
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2009, 01:16:46 PM »
Bhagawan Ramanar appeared in a time when questions began to raise within people if Moksha, Jeevanmuktha etc... in reality is it possible?  Ramanar came as God Himself. He is the ultimate truth. He is the one! He came here to show to people the essence of Vedanta, Upanishads etc... in Human flesh with exact descriptions as mentioned in the Vedas Upanishads etc...

Its possible! to become a Jeevanmuktha. Its possible to attain Moksha etc...

॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta